Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Madness

"Is there a road that goes to the site?" asks the man as he stands looking at the map. The roads even have cutesy frog names. Bullfrog Boulevard, Ribbett Road, Tadpole Alley ........ with road signs.

The woman had called me three times that day, keeping me apprised of their whereabouts. Various questions, such as "What do I do when I get there?" made it clear to me they were new at this. I explained in detail what to do upon entering the park. Told her where the night drop box was located and told her instructions were posted, as well as  map to the park. She called again to tell me there were 10 feet tall and wanted to know if they would "fit". I once again assured her that we we were "big rig" friendly and that she would have no problem fitting in the assigned site.

I was closed when they came in. I confess that I saw the headlamps and knew it must be them, but did not open the door. Instead I texted He Who has more patience than I and asked him to come up and guide them in. He did and that is when the road question was asked. He sent them in the right direction and came inside, assuming they had dropped the registration in the drop box, along with payment.

You know that old saying about assumptions ...... I should not be surprised at all that my instructions were not followed, should I? They are still here and I will get payment, it just annoys me that I will have to go ask for it.

I have been in a state of agitation all week. I have had an amazing amount of requests for permanent sites. People who find themselves in foreclosure, or down on their luck. I feel for them, but .......

I have monthly rates and can certainly accommodate permanent campers. That is not the problem. The problem is the junkers they pull up in. It is like they scoured the country side for abandoned trailers and then decided they would live in them. Problem is that I can't let them park here. If I do, I lose business. Hard to tell people their home looks crappy.......... but, this is, after all, a business.

Last Monday I opened the door to my establishment to find a questionable trio upon my threshold. The woman had called and inquired about monthly rates. The fact that I told her what they were did not insure I would welcome them into the park. She announced that they were here to set up. I looked beyond them to see the camper they planned to live in.

It was an older fifth wheel. Not in good shape. Filthy and a tarp covering the roof. Before I could stop myself I told them the camper was too old and in too poor shape to allow them to stay here. I am usually more diplomatic, but, there it was. The man said he understood, leading me to believe I was not the first campground to send them on their way.

So, imagine my surprise when I answered the phone to find the same man who said he understood on the other end of the line. I told him that I was eliminating older, unkempt units when I tried to buffer my initial reaction. He seemed to think he should find the title to this camper and prove to me it wasn't "old". He thought I would reconsider, since it was a 1996 model.

I had not named a cut-off year and he apparently did not hear what I said about unkempt. I was pretty sure this was the same group I had spoken with last Monday, but I asked if I had seen this 1996 camper and he replied that I had seen it last week. I said, "I am sorry, but the answer is still no." Then he said, "But it isn't old, it is a 1996."

"Just to be sure, you came in with this camper last week. It is a fifth wheel, not in very good shape with a tarp covering the roof ......." I said to the hopeful owner of the 1996 fifth wheel. "Yes, that's the one, and it isn't a 1986, like I thought, so can we come in now?"

It is going to be a long, long week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gourd Heads

The tiger lilies were looking so sad ...... full of dead leaves, blooms long gone.

A little grooming and they perked up. All the dead leaves and stalks removed and they are standing tall and proud again.

I carefully gathered all the leaves and stalks. This is the second bag, by the way.

Instead of spending money on straw, I used my salvaged lily leaves and made my gourd head man to sit upon my porch. Along with two others, he sits on my old church pew and greets campers.

I have some new campers staying here for the next month or so, working in the area. One of them called me Saturday, saying he was "trying to figure out how to get on this Internet". I told him how and he said he just needed it to watch TV.

I told him that he couldn't stream movies because it would use all the band width and knock everyone else off. He then told me not to worry, it wasn't movies, it was Netflix. Really, really can't make this stuff up.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Full Moon

My mother used to swear that she lay wide awake all night when the moon was full. I don't lay awake, but sleep in fits and spells. The moon must have had the same effect on Cujo. He kept getting out of bed, then coming to my side of the bed to be lifted back up into the bed. Short legs can jump down, but not up. I finally took him out at 6:30, along with Wall-E and crawled back into bed. Oscar raised his head only to acknowledge my presence and Toni Louise slept on.

I dozed fitfully. You know, the kind of sleep I mean, aware of everything around you. I could smell the promise of rain through my open window, along with hints of rosemary and basil as the wind ruffled the plants. I could hear the dogs playing, then whining to come in. Another trip to the back door to let Wall-E in and Toni Louise out.

Back to bed for more of my half sleep. All the while being careful to hold my left arm in the least painful position. My shoulder has been giving me fits for weeks now. I pondered the cause before finally remembering what I did.

We all know how I love my gardens and constantly think of new ways to improve them. I asked for mulch for my birthday. Not a bag or even 10 bags. I wanted a lot ..... So, He Who hauls lined the flat bed trailer with an old bill board cover and obtained 2 big scoops for me! He left it on the trailer and I used buckets to scoop it into the wheelbarrow.

I was stuck with inspiration after pushing the wheelbarrow back and forth to my gardens. I decided it would take less effort to get to far away beds if I used the golf cart and pulled the wheel barrow with my left arm as I drove ......

In my determination to get the job done, I ignored the pain and kept going. Over and over again for several hours. Not the best idea I ever had. But the gardens are looking well groomed! Even in the light of the full moon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dahlias and Rainy Days

My very first dahlia! I bought 5 (clearance) and only two came up.

Only one developed blooms ..... this one.

Now fully opened. Never planted these before, but I now think I need more!

Looks like I will have at least one more bloom!

Tough Mudder weekend is over. The local Chamber of Commerce called me several times in the months before the event and told me to prepare for an over-flow crowd of tenters. They assured me that were promoting the local business owners and wanted to make sure we could handle a crowd. I told them I could and would rent portable toilets if necessary ......

I was booking up with reservations and even allowing more than one tent per site. Then ....... come Friday and the day was filled with cancellations. The group of 30 paramedics were no-shows and the individual tenters were cancelling willy-nilly. Why, you ask? Because the same organization that is supposed to promote small business sanctioned the idea of local residents having tenters in their yards. Nice.

I am thankful I did not make arrangements for port-a-potties. The number of contestants was extremely over estimated and most came only to compete, then go home. Not the economic boost they were expecting.

Despite the disappointing weekend, the weather was wonderful. Sunday was overcast all day. The sun would peek through occasionally, but the temperature was in the 70's. I watered gardens all day in an effort to force the rain. I even left my car windows down ....... It finally rained a little late in the day and evening.

Today is much the same with gray skies and drizzling on and off. After the dry, hot weather, you would think this would make me happy. But, what can I say? Rainy days and Mondays always get me down .......

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hot Days, Sleepless Nights

The promised heat and humidity of the day is already upon us. Making me restless and annoyed, knowing I will have to spend most of the day indoors.

Sleep, I wish I could sleep. When I finally fell asleep last night, Toni Louise started barking frantically. She was at the back door and sounded like she had cornered an intruder. I lay very still, hoping He Who should be the one to investigate would get up. But, no, Cujo and Wall-E joined her in a symphony called "Kill the Intruder". Even after I suggested that he should be the one to go out, he lay there, pretending not to hear me.

I shuffled to the back door to find that Toni Louise had "cornered" the work shirts of He Who tows. He hangs them on a hook by the back door until they go to the uniform company to be cleaned and returned. They have safety stripes that glow when hit by any light. The dusk to dawn light was hitting them just right through the window in the door. Toni Louise was just alerting her family about a strange glowing presence in the back of the house where her water dish and food bowl are located.

When jolted awake like this I find it hard to simply go back to sleep. I should really try to develop this talent ........

Just 24 more hours and the heat should break, so they say. Those people on TV who forecast weather. I have so very much to do outside. The billboard skin is here and waiting to cover the new board. Not that I will be helping. It involves either getting into a lift and being hoisted in the air ..... or ascending a ladder precariously balanced in the back of He Who's pick-up truck.

Then there is one of my newly painted signs that was mounted beneath a road sign that had been in place for years. On a post cemented into the ground with a huge boulder in front of it to protect it from those who do not know how to stay on the gravel road. The sign I posted was big, 4 feet by 4 feet. A gentle reminder to slow down and watch for children. Okay, maybe it was more "in your face" than gentle; but necessary. A camper plowed my sign down. How, you ask? Backing up, he said. Don't know why, since the site he was assigned was a pull-thru. Broke the post off at the ground and popped my sign in half. Lest you think we were reimbursed for the damages ...........

It seems to have taken the entire to write this. Phone reservations and a trip to refill prescriptions. Tough Mudder competition this weekend will be bringing lots of people into our small town. Tent campers galore will descend upon us, along with those in accommodations on wheels. So, I will take my aching joints and muscles to bed.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tell Me a Story

Meet my great-granddaughter, Jailynn. This is the only smile shot I got. She was busy telling us story after story.

She let Granddaddy hold her sock monkey while she raided his cookie stash. My dad is looking pretty good here. When he stands, you can see how much weight he has lost, his pants all gathered under his belt and his shoulders all bony under his shirt. Jailynn cheered him up and tired him out. He went to bed before they left.

Jailynn continued to enchant us with her stories and her facial expressions "and I was like, are you serious?" thrown in frequently. Her baby fine hair is slow growing, like her daddy's was. I can still picture his solemn little face and bald head with those huge green eyes. The same eyes I see in her little face.

My grandson, all grown up, with a child of his own. Doesn't seem possible that he could shoulder that responsibility. If he falters, I am quite certain Jailynn will bring it to his attention. She possesses an uncanny likeness to my youngest daughter in her personality. Must be some gene drifting around .........

Such a sweet little face with those big green eyes.

My dad is back in the hospital. His heart was racing and his blood pressure dropping. They think the tumor is putting pressure on his heart. His surgery consult was postponed until next Friday. I am keeping my fingers crossed that a date will be set and that hateful tumor can come out.

In the meantime, I will continue picking apples and putting gardens to bed for the winter to come.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Apologies To Sprint ......

So all weekend long I have been fighting with the Internet. Get on, get knocked off. So frustrating. Figured a camper might be streaming a movie or something. Campers leave as I am humming my own song, composed by me ..... "It's the most wonderful day of the week. All the campers are leaving and my heart is heaving a sigh of relief ...." I don't belt it out until the park is empty, then I go nuts.

I grab my laptop and get ready for some serious, uninterrupted Internet time and I can't get on. I reboot the modem and I shut my laptop down and do every trick I know before I call He Who should fix this for me. I impatiently answer all the "did you try this" questions and he goes about his task. All the while blaming the heat wave, Sprint, and Mother Nature, just to cover it all. He even calls Sprint and they show that we have a strong, yes, excellent signal. He gives up and I resign myself to no Internet.

He suddenly leaps from his chair and goes out to where the modem is located. He changes one tiny little wire connection and BOOM. I have Internet! What is the proper etiquette here? Should I apologize to Sprint? It really was an issue with the satellite atop the tower earlier this year. Naw, no apologies necessary.

I left my camera in Georgia. It has dozens of pictures of Jailynn, my great-granddaughter on it. I am totally smitten with her. She is 4 and I had not seen her since she was a baby. Talk, that girl can talk. She reminds me of my youngest, telling all the family secrets. Her little face is so expressive as she tells story after story. I do not know where she got the gift of gab from ........

My dad is sending the camera to me. He goes to Atlanta Friday for another MRI and a consultation with the surgeons. We are all hoping for a surgery date. They will be removing the tumor and part of his esophagus and stomach. He has managed to get his weight and strength back up, thanks to two units of blood. When asked if he would be willing to have a transfusion, he told them he would take monkey blood if it would help.

I don't think it was monkey blood ....... Apples are falling and today will find me picking apples and cleaning up under the trees. The weather has calmed a bit and we are enjoying cool nights and milder days. The weekend forecast is for the 90's.
Harvesting is best done in mild weather!